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XZENT X-F285


GeoffG

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I recently purchased a new Chausson 650 which came supplied with the XZENT X-F285 unit including the Sat Nav map upgrade. After resiting the GPS receiver the unit appears to work ok, but I have been unable to get traffic information to work.  XZENT in Germany are telling me that this is because TPEG is not available free in the UK. Has anyone successfully used this Sat Nav with traffic in the UK? Without this information the value of the unit is severely diminished.

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AFAIK, the X-F285 is TPEG only (not TMC). There is no free TPEG service in the UK (and, AFAIK, no way of licensing the X-F285 for any paid version, should it exist).

Earlier Xzent radios which were TMC capable required, in any case, an additional TMC licence for the UK, as the only useful service is not free. Even then, the license used to work on the older TMC radios, but not on the more recent (but previous to current) series, something I took up with NNG (Naviextras) and they admitted it and removed the purchase option).

Experience on the Continent (albeit it varies country by country) is different depending on the availability of more comprehensive free TPEG/TMC services.

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Yes, that's my conclusion. I was surprised that it was so difficult to get definitive advice, as it's not generally shared on any of their sites, and even googling returned little advice or information. As I indicated, the unit's value is significantly diminished.

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There are passing references to it in the product description (s), e.g. here:

https://www.xzent.com/site/assets/files/1571/xzent_x-f285_product_info_en-1.pdf

Which details TPEG use and the "free service" restriction. I must admit that, whilst I was able to interpret that, it requires no little background knowledge.

The previous models UK TMC problems emanated, I think, from the fact that NNG (the software supplier) licensed Trafficmaster TMC data, and they pulled out of the market. AFAIK, the current supplier in the UK is INRIX. (It didn't stop NNG offering Trafficmaster licences for sale for some time after the Trafficmaster service ceased, though).

From what I can gather, free TPEG services are currently only available in Germany. It might be, given history, that NNG will start to offer purchasable licences for premium TPEG services in the future, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

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Given all of the above, and as the van is new, I'm tempted to ask whether A) the van was UK supplied and B) whether you have queried the supply of this unit, which is clearly unsatisfactory in UK, with the supplying dealer.

It may be that Chausson has decided to fit this unit to all its vans, not realising that they cannot be used in UK.  If it does not perform as advertised, I would seem reasonable for the dealer to replace it with a comparable unit that is suitable for UK use.

As an aside, I've a dislike of built in sat-navs for three reasons.  First, once you have it you are somewhat stuck with it and, as the technology develops they become out of date, second, because the maps invariably become out of date and need updating, which, for many of the built in systems, has hitherto tended to be expensive and cumbersome compared to the process with stand alone sat-nav devices - many of which include lifetime map updates within the original purchase price - and third, because you can take a stand alone sat-nav with you when in a strange place and use it to find your way around, or at least, back to where you parked your van!  😄 As an alternative, many now seem to just use a smart phone app for navigation and avoid the whole issue.

Regarding traffic information, I'm less than impressed by my experiences.  It may have improved since I gave up on it, but I found the information was invariably out of date so a delay that had been announced had gone by the time one arrived, other delays that caused hold-ups had not been announced at the time one arrived, and the grand finale, on taking a recommended diversion to avoid one delay we were led, after a few miles, straight into a delay that had not been been announced, while the originally announced delay cleared - and the one we were then stuck in did not!  Grrrrrrrr!  😞

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1 hour ago, Brian Kirby said:

Regarding traffic information, I'm less than impressed by my experiences.  It may have improved since I gave up on it, but I found the information was invariably out of date so a delay that had been announced had gone by the time one arrived, other delays that caused hold-ups had not been announced at the time one arrived, and the grand finale, on taking a recommended diversion to avoid one delay we were led, after a few miles, straight into a delay that had not been been announced, while the originally announced delay cleared - and the one we were then stuck in did not!  Grrrrrrrr!  😞

Yes that has been my experience too

It got to the stage where I made a point of ignoring traffic information and usually found little or no delay where they said it would be

Signs left out saying lanes closed where they aren't, speed limit signs long after the roadworks have finished.

Even the traffic information on the motorway overhead gantries is often wrong!!!

So I have to disagree with the OP's assertion that ' Without this information the value of the unit is severely diminished.'  In my opinion it probably makes the unit worth more 😄

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3 hours ago, Brian Kirby said:

If it does not perform as advertised, I would seem reasonable for the dealer to replace it with a comparable unit that is suitable for UK use.

I don't think that's going to stick, Brian. It clearly does perform as advertised (subject to it being able to process free TPEG traffic, something that would require a trip to Germany to check out).

It will, I'm sure, perform all the functions you would expect from such a unit, except if you expected the (non-advertised) ability to provide "near-real-time" traffic updates in the UK.

Since I discovered that mine would not provide Trafficmaster TMC, it's proven pretty adequate (the current Mrs Hood insists on checking traffic in the UK on Google maps anyway) and it provides a reasonable amount of TMC data when we're abroad.

I know people like to "knock" the Zenec/Xzent range, but having had a few, I've found them more than adequate as a whole, and the IGO navigation software, after a learning curve and some tweaking, about the best for my purposes.  

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13 hours ago, Robinhood said:

I don't think that's going to stick, Brian. It clearly does perform as advertised (subject to it being able to process free TPEG traffic, something that would require a trip to Germany to check out).

It will, I'm sure, perform all the functions you would expect from such a unit, except if you expected the (non-advertised) ability to provide "near-real-time" traffic updates in the UK..................................................

Well yes, Lord Copper, but that might depend on what claims Chausson have made for the capabilities of the unit. 

If Chausson's claims had led Geoff to understand that traffic information would be available with that unit, he might have a reasonable complaint.

However, as Chausson is based in France (a subsidiary of Groupe Trigano), and my experience of even DAB radio coverage in France is that it is patchy, I'd have thought they would be careful with what they claim "on the tin".

But it should have been the case that in (presumably) adding this unit as a cost option, it was made clear that the full range of capabilities available with the unit may only be available in Germany.

I assume there are other, similar type, units available that do provide Europe wide (including UK) traffic information that could have been supplied instead?

Seems a bit galling to me if one, having already paid for the XZENT unit in the price of the van, then has to junk it and buy another at additional expense to be able to gain advantage of traffic information.  After all, part of its function is navigation, and most automotive sat-nav devices seem to provide traffic information - even if I do think its performance of dubious benefit.  🙂 

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8 hours ago, Brian Kirby said:

  After all, part of its function is navigation, and most automotive sat-nav devices seem to provide traffic information - even if I do think its performance of dubious benefit.  🙂 

I started to reply to your earlier post, but then wasn't sure if you meant all traffic info, or just Trafficmaster TMC. Our TomTom gives pretty accurate traffic info, I've ignored it a few times at my cost. The biggest problem seems to be that it can detect a jam further down route but obviously can't predict how it will change by the time we get there, depending on route I may take offered alternatives as soon as they come up, or leave it until we get closer and see if jam clears. Overall I see it as a major benefit of satnav. 

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